Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Kill of the Week: $435 hammer

Though Shadow Cartel and friends did excellent work in Aeschee the other day killing super-caps, for my money, the kill of the week is this one they provided:

Back in the 1980s, the U.S. Department of Defense got into some hot water over their procurement processes.  These processes, due to a combination of factors, allowed things like $640 toilet seats and $435 hammers to be purchased.  I like to think the same kind of procurement process produced this Loki.

"Does that thing come with a coffee machine as well?" someone jokes about this fit.  Pure utility ships are of course nothing new in EVE Online, but they have a name for such ships: Force Recons.  A Rapier produced for the same kind of utility as this ship can have a cloak, probe launcher, and cyno.  It can even be dual-propped if you really need such a thing.  But it can also be useful to the fleet in a combat role by also bringing dual bonused webs.  That's slightly more useful than the 39 DPS provided by this Loki.

And a Rapier costs one quarter as much.

Yes, I find it extremely ironic and fitting that three Rapiers were involved in killing this abomination.  Again, there's nothing wrong with a utility ship along with your fleet.  Strategic cruisers are so versatile they get used for everything from scouting to combat to gas-mining.  But sooner or later, you have to pick one or two roles for your ship and stick with them.  By spreading itself out so much, this utility ship actually provides little to no utility at all.  That cyno is my favorite.  What did this pilot expect: that a large fleet would stand around guarding his expensive useless cyno ship for ten minutes?  Apparently.  Or maybe not, because there's no Liquid Ozone in cargo to actually light it...

If you're going to fit a utility ship, make sure it's useful.  That's what "utility" means.  On the other hand, if you're going to fit an escape/evasion/exploration ninja-salvager, one kill-mail whoring module works just fine.  Pick a role for your ship and fit for it.

So, just a public service announcement this week: don't go nuts procuring a $435 hammer when a $15 one hits nails just fine.


  1. Linking procurement method to internet spaceship is original. But you should have researched the original story better, because there are no $435 hammer: "equalallocation formula makes line item prices meaningless. Under this system the line item price does not reflect the item's true value. The equal allocation method calculates prices for large numbers of items in a contract by assigning "support' costs such as indirect labor and overhead equally to each item. Take a contract to provide spare parts for a set of radar tracking monitors. Suppose a monitor has 100 parts and support costs amount to a total of $100,000. Using the equal allocation method each part is assigned $1,000 in such costs, even though one item may be a sophisticated circuit card assembly, which requires the attention of high-salaried engineers and managers, and another item may be a plastic knob. Add $1,000 to the direct cost of the part and you get a billing price. This is what the government is billed, though not what the part is really worth--the circuit card being undervalued, the knob being overvalued."

    1. Yeah, thats one way they try to cover up the theft of US taxpayers money for the war machine.... We don't believe it though, wall street journal......


    2. No, it's actually due to the fact that they rounded all the secret "black-bag" projects across the entire pentagon budget. They did this to hide weapons development from soviet budget analysts - who would use the information to attempt to discern what types of weapons we were developing.

      Since that public relations fiasco, the "black-bag" projects were moved to a separate budget that receives direct oversight from the select intelligence committee.

  2. I often try new things wit fits... but I ahve to admit, that one is not something I would have ever even though of... and I love the versatility of the T3s. I have 2 std fits for my Loki, HAM Ratter and CovOps

  3. Just lets make clear that T3 refitted as recon ships do make sense:

    #1 they are easier to fit. Recon ships need Recon V to operate dual fitted (probes, cloak)
    #2 T3 are nulified, make better forward scouts for that reason
    #3 T3 have better resist and tank

    So if you got the ISK T3 are better recons. And the difference isn't that large anymore considering that all ships raised in price but T3 actually dropped.

    I am not saying that fit is good, but if you fit a T3 as recon you can ask yourself what to fit in the high slots besides launcher and cloak/whore gun?

    1. If that's what this was, I'd agree with you.

      That's not what this is.

  4. Did you notice the character name on the failfit Loki? Monasucks. And she does! Maybe someone runs comedy fail alts.

  5. I think what the toilet seat and hammer stories miss is economis of scale. If I require a special hammer and only buy 100 of them it is gonig to be expensive. The non-recurring costs such as production of engineering drawings, tooling, procurement people to find a supplier, contracts people to get the ink right, the NC program to make the object and so on cost the same as it would if you bought a lot of them, but lucky you, you only get to divide it over a few units. It will e damn expensive. Airplanes are largely hand made because most of the techniques that make things cheap are not cheap if done in small quantities.

    1. Federal Contracting makes no sense some times. It can be very difficult to procure even the most simple services without a lengthy proposal and bid process that can/will be contested regardless of merit if the award is large enough. So unlike the private sector, those of us in the federal government are required to go through a painful time consuming goat rope to buy things. And the only vendors we are able to buy things from are those that are set up to comply with the complex and burdensome process. And even out of those we are required to select companies that are in a protected class (minority owned, disabled vet owned etc.) So often you don't end up with the cheapest vendor. The problem isn't economies of scale on the supply side. The government and even DOD has moved aggressively to get out of that game as their purchasing power is no longer large enough to influence the market. You run into problems with a lack of suppliers. To stick with DoD you have only a handful of companies that bid on major systems projects. Often those companies are just competing to see who the Prime will be knowing that the project will be spread over many companies. TL;DR The whole system is jacked up, lay the blame on congress not the procurement officer. Don't even get me started on budgeting, I've flown racetracks over the Gulf of Mexico to burn gas before the end of the FY so we didn't lose the money next year.

  6. That was a fast forward scout... and suicide ship as far as I know... and Guns were only there for keeping 15min pvp timer alive


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